Now that the ringing in my ears has died down, I can sit down and write about this concert. I've also calmed myself down by playing Sigur Rós, so you won't have to worry about me raving about the concert and throwing in unnecessary superlatives.
That said, the concert was tremendous. It started a little rocky, but it was really good on the whole. The opening act (Simon Lart, or something like that) played a couple of solid songs at the beginning of their set, but I was done with them after about five songs. That worked really well for us, since they only played the five. After twenty minutes of waiting for Band of Horses to come on, though, another opening act walked on the stage. This was a guy (who neglected to introduce himself, incidentally; we'll call him "Chad") who played most of his instruments by himself. Anything he couldn't play was provided for him via a backup track. His music was pretty solid, too, but I was ready to be done with him pretty quickly, if only because I wasn't expecting to have to wade through two opening acts. He made my wait almost worth my while, however, by describing a fight that he'd had with a friend of his who had joined him on tour. The two of them had just been traveling for long enough and got in a fight about bananas or something. I forget exactly. At any rate, this friend (we'll call him "Eric") was supposed to join Chad on stage to play drums for him, but due to this fight, he refused to come up on stage. Chad couldn't well play the songs by himself, so he ended up playing the first half of a lot of his songs and describing how they would have ended if Eric had been on stage with him. He described one song as having a "proto-homosexual" ending. I don't know what that means, but it seemed intriguing enough. Another song would have involved trumpeters muting their instruments with balloons and showering confetti all over the place. I was under the impression that Eric only played the drums, but apparently he does it all. It would have been amazing. Alas.
Finally, Band of Horses made their appearance. They didn't actually take the stage until about 9.15, which was interesting because the concert was scheduled to start at 7.00. (I later realized that the doors opened at 7.00. We were there at 6.00, only to find that the bands were only just arriving then.) Another band, the Kings of Leon, was supposed to play at 8.00 in the same place. I have no idea if or when they started playing. As it was, we were offered tickets to their show for free by one of the members of the band. It turned out that the Stills were opening for them, which would have been exciting to see. We seriously considered it; we probably would have stayed had the concert not ended at 10.15. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of waiting until 11.00 to start a show an hour away from home.
Band of Horses was fantastic. They're from Canada, and they looked the part. They were dressed in neat flannel and had fairly impressive beards. It felt like a bevy of lumberjacks were performing for us. It was pretty cool. What made the experience even more fun was that the band seemed to feel that performing live was still a novelty for them. They were really excited. They brought up a painting of what turned out to be a dog smoking a pipe with a shotgun behind it and placed it on the drum set. "This is Mr. Awesome," they informed us. We were all duly impressed.
I was most excited for them to play "The Funeral," and I wasn't disappointed when they played it. It had all of the driving energy that I was hoping it would live. (Even seemingly innocuous songs like "Wicked Gil" were impressive live, though. It was a solid show.) You should really be clicking on the link that I provided for you here. You'll appreciate this post more if you're listening to Band of Horses while you read about them.
The reason everyone was there, of course, was to hear "The Great Salt Lake." They were just as excited to play it as we were to hear it. Few things in my life to this point can compare to hearing Band of Horses play "The Great Salt Lake" while in downtown Salt Lake City. It was fantastic. Everyone in the 200-person crowd knew the words to the song and sang along. (Now if you find yourself falling apart, I'm sure I can steer on the Great Salt Lake. mmmmmm.) We gave them such a tremendous response to that song that they told us that we were cooler than Mr. Awesome. I was so proud.
All told, it was a fantastic show. Alyssa even got touched by the drummer on the small of her back. If that doesn't make it an experience to be remembered, I don't know what will. Anyone for the Guster show next month?